Airports are always busy places and now that it’s summer, airport volume is bound to leap. It happens every year, especially in July—the busiest travel month of the year.
Headlines like “Summer Travel Likely to Increase TSA Waits” and “TSA Security Lines are ‘Insane’” and “Record U.S. Airline Traffic Expected This Summer” are sure to make even the most seasoned business travelers pause.
Beginning with Memorial Day and continuing through Labor Day, summer always means higher volumes of people at airports, especially inexperienced travelers heading out for vacations with their families. More volume and less savvy travelers is not a recipe for speed. According to the Transportation Security Administration, during the busiest days of the summer, TSA often screens more than 2.5 million passengers per day!
Summer is also the time of year most prone to weather delays. You heard that right. Nor’easters pounding the Mid-Atlantic and New England and Blizzards in the Rockies might get all the headlines, but summer weather—i.e. thunderstorms, tornadoes, hurricanes, and other severe weather—are toughest on airline travel.
If you’re a frequent flyer, you’ve probably got your own process to make time in the airport speedy and efficient. But just in case, we offer these reminders:
1. Get TSA Pre-checked. If you qualify, you’ll enjoy expedited screening lanes at more than 180 US airports. You won’t need to remove shoes, laptops, liquids, belts, and light jackets—and you’ll be the envy of other travelers stuck in those long, snaking, security lines.
2. Be prepared. To frequent flyers, inexperienced travelers are easy to spot. They over pack carryon bags, don’t separate their liquids, fail to remove laptops from their bags, and leave their keys or their phones in their pockets. As an experienced traveler, you know the drill: have your ID and boarding pass at the ready, and everything out of your pockets and into your carry-on approved bag.
3. Remember that all liquids, gels, aerosols, creams, and pastes must be 3.4 ounces or less and all must fit inside a single quart-size plastic bag and be placed in a bin for carry-on screening (if you’re not TSA Pre-checked).
4. Give yourself extra time, especially if the weather outlook is bad and you know the airport will be busy. You might be able to skate by arriving just 75 minutes before your flight in January, but come June and July, give yourself at least another 30-45 minutes.
5. Better yet, avoid travelling at peak times. That’s Monday through Friday between 7 am and 9 am, and between 4 pm and 7 pm.
6. If there are delays or cancellations, have a Plan B already in place. With airline websites and smartphone apps, it’s easy these days to check out alternate flights ahead of time. Having a backup plan in the works means you can move quickly if storms or other delays wreak havoc on your preferred itinerary.
Last but certainly not least, you can speed things up by gearing up properly for travel. Mobile Edge makes this easy for business travelers with a variety of TSA-friendly mobility solutions. Each of these Mobile Edge bags let you travel in style and security, and their rugged construction makes them extremely durable.
Choose among our ScanFast Checkpoint Friendly Briefcase 2.0, Professional Backpack, Alienware Vindicator 2.0 Briefcase, or a number of other ScanFast solutions designed to fit a wide range of fashionable and functional needs. Each is checkpoint friendly/TSA compliant and features a lifetime warranty.